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Supporting Each Other

Casting for a Cause is sometimes fortunate enough to find a sponsor that is like-minded in their efforts to support our veterans. Tel-Conn Manufacturing is one of those sponsors. This past weekend, Jay Yancey and I had the opportunity to take Pete Bateman and Ilya Unzhakov for some inshore fishing that provided waters smooth enough for us to even venture out to the SAV nearshore reef. Pete is the President of Tel-Conn while Ilya works in sales, and it is quite evident these guys trust each other and work well together.

Ilya had informed me that Pete would have some difficulty seeing due to being visually impaired from birth. While he retains some vision, the fact he walks without assistance was a little misleading as to just how much he could see. I would not find out until later that he kept thinking he was pitching into the grass. I've since realized I need to ask more questions and be more focused to ensure every disability gets my fullest attention.

As we worked our way out of Turner's Creek and along the Wilmington River, I was intent on pushing the throttles full speed because we were running a bit behind. I knew the area we were planning to fish would already be occupied if we didn't get there quick, so I buried the throttles and watched their response as we approached 50 mph. They both appeared to be enjoying the ride, even as we wound our way through Tybee Cut and headed for toward Wassaw sound. Soon we ended up at the mouth of the creek we were intending to fish and as I expected, a local charter captain was already fishing the bank with a client. I've discovered respect goes a long way in this business as he sent me a text message politely informing me of standard etiquette simply because he knew I probably did not know it already.

As we adjusted our course and worked our way to another location, our clients began to get a few bites as Jay and I worked to ensure they always had bait and the necessary support for netting any fish they may pull in. However, the bite simply was not what I had expected that morning and we soon decided to head offshore to the SAV reef. We worked our way out along the opposite side from which we came in as I began pitching an artificial lure to see if the bite would improve. I was surprised when an upper slot red decided to show his strength, but efforts to catch more of them ended in disappointment.